Religion: Super Religion, 1st Edition

  • Jeffrey J. Kripal Rice University
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 0028663586
  • ISBN-13: 9780028663586
  • DDC: 200
  • Grade Level Range: 11th Grade - College Senior
  • 432 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2016 | Published/Released September 2016
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2016

  • Price:  Sign in for price



Religion: Super Religion is part of the Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks series dedicated to the study of religion. Composed of twenty-five thematic chapters, this volume reexamines the supernatural in the study of religion for the next generation of students and scholars. Toward this same end, Super Religion takes a robust interdisciplinary approach to a wide variety of religious traditions to engage with new thinking about such classical and contemporary topics as spirits, possession, vision, deification, the miraculous, magical powers, and the paranormal. Fields as diverse as modern medicine, philosophy, psychoanalysis, cognitive science, cultural anthropology, folklore studies, postcolonial criticism, popular culture studies, and New Testament criticism come into play. The volume also includes bibliographies, filmographies, images, a glossary, and a comprehensive index, all of which aid the reader in exploring the fantastic terrain of this ancient and yet ever new mode of human experience and inquiry.

Features and Benefits

  • The interdisciplinary nature of these handbooks provides an innovative approach to introducing the field to novices.
  • Film, literature, art, and other lenses are used to help the reader understand concepts and ideas in the study of religion.
  • The handbooks combine the features of an introductory textbook with features of a reference resource to effectively engage and educate the user.
  • Introduces the reader to the supernatural in the study of religion.
  • Peer-reviewed chapters are written by eminent scholars in the field.
  • Includes a glossary, bibliographies, and summaries for each chapter.
  • 28 images.

Alternate Formats

  • Casebound Edition

    ISBN-10: 0028663519 | ISBN-13: 9780028663517


"This book is a useful starting point for research of the supernatural in religion. The breadth of religions in addition to the breadth of supernatural events means that the book is unable to get too far into the weeds on specific issues. Nevertheless, the book is useful for researchers to gain tertiary exposure to various issues in this broad category. The book is recommended for an academic library."

— Sara Mofford

Table of Contents

Introduction: Reimagining the Super in the Study of Religion.
1. Rational Supernatural Belief: Debunking the Debunkers.
2. The Problem of Disenchantment and Modern Transformations of the Supernatural.
3. The Psychoanalytic Occult in Freud and Contemporary Theory.
4. Dream Is One Sixtieth of Prophecy: God, Revelation, and the Imagination in the Hebrew Bible and the Jewish Mystical Tradition.
5. The Paranormal Jesus.
6. Becoming Gods: Deification and the Supernatural.
7. Seeing the Invisible God: Discerning the Supernatural in the History of Christian Visionary Experience.
8. Extraordinary Capacities in the Religions of South Asia: Yoga Powers and Cosmology.
9. Becoming Vimalamitra: Manufacturing the Supernatural in Tibetan Buddhism.
10. Nonduality in the Hindu Tradition and the Study of Religion.
11. Finding the Song, Dreaming the Cure: Native Spirituality in the Context of Healing.
12. Living Magic: The Witch, the Bewitched, the Possessed.
13. Total Impact: Being Changed by Divination in West Africa.
14. Sorcery and the Supernatural in Niger and Mali.
15. The Supernatural in the African American Experience.
16. The Spectacular Supernatural and the Birth of the Media Entertainment Industry.
17. Hypothetical Religion: The Supernatural as an Experience and Experiment.
18. The Supernatural and Colonialism.
19. A Cultural Shockwave: The Battle over Animal Magnetism and the Retreat of the Supernatural in Early Modern France.
20. The Poltergeist at the Intersection of the Spirit and the Material: Some Historical and Contemporary Observations.
21. Decolonizing the Supernatural: The Case of Luis Alberto Urrea’s The Hummingbird’s Daughter (2005).
22. The Supersensual Supernatural: Sexual Spirits in the History of Christianity.
23. Superconsciousness: The Ecstatic Religions of the Counterculture.
24. From Purgatory to the UFO Phenomenon: The Catholic Supernatural Goes Galactic.
25. Making Magic with Music.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Jeffrey J. Kripal

Jeffrey J. Kripal is the J. Newton Rayzor Professor of Religion at Rice University. He is the author of numerous books, including COMPARING RELIGIONS: COMING TO TERMS, with Ata Anzali, Andrea R. Jain, and Erin Prophet (2014); AUTHORS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE: THE PARANORMAL AND THE SACRED (2010); and THE SERPENT’S GIFT: GNOSTIC REFLECTIONS ON THE STUDY OF RELIGION (2007). Kripal's work has ranged from the study of erotic mystical literature in both India and the West to the analysis of extraordinary religious experiences from the ancient world to today. His most recent work focuses on the same extreme states as windows into the deeper nature of mind or consciousness.